tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN October 5, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
>> yes, ladies and gentlemen, apparently rick santorum not only wants to kill big bird, he wants to eat them. santorum knew right away that maybe that didn't come out right but there are no do-overs on the hms piers. not with captain morgan at the helm. >> that's probably -- can we -- >> no, that was beautifully badly phrased. i think we should end on that note. just to make you feel really uncomfortable. you can kill things but still like them. rick santorum. what a perfect way to end the interview. >> you can kill things but still like them. words to live by on the "ridiculist." that does it for us. see you again one hour from now. another edition of "360" at 10:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching. "piers morgan tonight" starts now. tonight, obama's big break. >> my opponent has been trying to do a two-step and reposition and got an extreme makeover. >> crushed by romney on wednesday, he gets a huge boost with the new jobs report. the numbers are surprising, unemployment rate below 8% for
the first time in his presidency. but is it enough to stop a surging romney? >> if we were to re-elect president obama i don't think we would measure up to the test of time. >> tonight, the one man who has debated both of them, senator john mccain joins me. >> frankly, i didn't expect the president to do that poorly. >> he knows when to hold them and when to fold them. ♪ know when to walk away and know when to run ♪ >> the legendary kenny rogers, taking on politics -- >> in all fairness i really wanted obama to be a great president. >> and talking about his music and his love life. oh, yes, and we sing a duet. ♪ islands in the stream ♪ that is what we are >> this is "piers morgan tonight." we begin with tonight's big story with just 32 days before the election, the new jobs report numbers are out and they are shaking up the race again. the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the lowest since january 2009, when president obama was inaugurated. he is hoping the new numbers
will bring him a second term. he and governor romney know the election's all about the economy and both men were trading jabs today in the battleground state of virginia. >> today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> when i'm president of the united states, that unemployment rate is going to come down not because people are giving up and dropping out of the work force, but because we're creating more jobs. i will create jobs and get america working again. >> let's get right to tonight's big story. with senator john mccain, the arizona senator and former presidential candidate joining me now. welcome to you, senator. >> thank you, piers. >> we are going to come to the debate in a moment. you've been one of the only
people who debated both barack obama and mitt romney so you're in a unique place to tell me what you made of the new style romney and indeed, obama. before we get there, though, today's big news on the jobs front. whichever way you spin this from the republican side, this has to be good news not only for the president but also america, that the number's now gone down to 7.8% for the first time going below 8% in his presidency. >> well, i think that's bound to be good news but i also think you have to take it in the context that 7.8% is of course still unacceptably high but it is good news, and i think it's going to be of some help to the president. but certainly with the numbers of unemployed americans we have now, 23 million i guess it is, it's still an unacceptable situation. i think the president will concede that. >> jack welch has said today unbelievable job numbers, he tweeted. the chicago guys will do
anything, can't debate so they change the numbers. is there any merit to the argument that these numbers aren't quite what they seem? >> i would be very cautious about saying that, piers, unless i had some kind of substantialation to it and of course, we don't want to sound like sour grapes over what is good news for america. somebody would have to show me the facts and then i would be glad to make the argument. >> do you think that either of these things, in the last 24 hours, barack obama's very lackluster, surprisingly poor debate performance, or these job numbers today, do either of them constitute in any form a kind of game change moment? >> i think the debate certainly does. americans watched those debates that may not watch the next two, that saw a mitt romney that was a direct contradiction to the hundreds of millions of dollars
worth of attack ads, especially in swing states, that the obama campaign has spent painting mitt romney as some kind of insensitive clueless bank accounts at the cayman islands kind of guy, and he wiped all that away. and also, i think it was pretty clear that for the first time, the president was put on the defensive as far as his record is concerned. and that's because of this bubble he's been in for the last four years and he obviously couldn't defend it. finally, piers, i thought one of the seminal moments in that debate was near the end, when jim lehrer talked about the lack of bipartisanship, the lack of sitting down together and averting this fiscal cliff that most americans know we're headed towards, and mitt talked about being governor of massachusetts, reaching across the aisle, having to negotiate, et cetera. the president's responses, sometimes you have to say no to people. is that, you know, and the fact
is first two years, as mitt pointed out, first two years of his presidency, they just rammed things through without a single republican vote. so i think those were -- that makes it probably one of the really more important debates in american history and perhaps i'm exaggerating because i'm so happy. >> i can't blame you. i can't blame any republicans because it's been a very bruising few weeks for the republicans and mitt romney and then suddenly everything seems to have turned on its head. you're in a very interesting position as i said earlier because you have debated against both mitt romney and barack obama. interestingly, romney is believed from the latest polls to have won 67% to 25% against barack obama this time. when you went head-to-head with obama in 2008, the polls said 51% obama, 38% mccain. do you think you would have done better against the obama that was debating this week? >> i think so, piers, but you
know, it would sound like i am now trying to rewrite history or i would have done better. you know, i never tried to do any of that looking back and certainly not in anger or bitterness. but i think it is true that during the 2008 campaign, the president or then senator obama had no record to defend, and one of the reasons why mitt did so well in this debate was because mitt was -- i think very legitimately, attacking his record, whether it be the $90 billion in subsidies for energy or a number of the other things that he pointed -- the failure of dodd-frank, and so the president had a record to defend this time, but one, do not underestimate the president of the united states. he will come back strong. i think mitt has to be prepared for that. and also, as you mentioned, these job numbers will give him
a bit or something of a boost today. >> we've got the vp debate coming up. you said about joe biden he's the gift that keeps on giving. are you hoping that he's going to be giving a sprinkling of presents back to you guys? >> i don't know but i hope he repeats this latest one, where the middle class america has been buried for the last four years. right, joe. in fact, you might use that in your opening statement. by the way, personally, i've got to tell you something, piers. personally, joe biden and i have been friends for many, many years. i enjoy his company. he's a very good guy, personally, so it's not as if i -- but honest to god, he still is a heartbeat away from the presidency and when some of the things he says, you know, you're slack-jawed. but i think he'll be well-prepared for this debate. i would remind you, he didn't do that well against sarah palin,
so -- but also, paul ryan is a real policy wonk. he knows all the details. so if i were advising paul ryan, and i am not, they just haven't asked for it, i would say be careful that you don't come across as somebody who gets down into the weeds about omb numbers and cbo and sequestration. a lot of these things that the average americans are really not familiar with. he wants to be clear. joe is a very -- excuse me, the vice president is a very attractive guy and if i were him, i would be playing on that as well. >> senator, two things, if i may. one is the ongoing situation regarding the death of ambassador christopher stevens in libya. lots of vagueness about what really went on in the days leading up to this and indeed, afterwards. what is your assessment of where we are now? >> well, let me tell you what's not vague, and that is five days after, five days after what was
very quickly determined by the intelligence committee as a terrorist attack, they trotted out our ambassador to the u.n. to every major news outlet saying that this was a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video. that's probably one of the worst things that i have ever observed in my life, and obviously, there were warnings and obviously anybody who believes that an attack with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades and a very sophisticated attack is the result of a video, i mean, it's just ridiculous. and finally, piers, it's not the video that's stoking these demonstrations. as you know, it's the radical islamists that are using the videos as a means of inflaming passion in the middle east and i'll be damned if i'm ready to abandon the freedom of speech because it might offend the prophet muhammed. >> we've heard calls for ambassador rice to resign. are you in favor of that?
>> no. i think that's shooting the messenger. she was told to go out and do that. i blame the secretary of state, i blame the operatives in the white house and i blame our national security advisor. if the president didn't know exactly what happened, he sure as hell should have. >> finally, a border agent was killed in your home state of arizona. mexican authorities arrested two suspects in the shooting. it's been suggested this may have been as a result of friendly fire. do you have any information on that? >> i have no information on that. i've heard that rumor and i certainly have no information. that is a known drug corridor. we in arizona have the terrible misfortune of being the major drug corridor across our border up to phoenix and being distributed throughout the nation. we have made improvements in our border security but we still have quite a ways to go. >> finally, senator, i can't let
you go without asking you the burning question on everyone's lips in america. would you or would you not kill big bird? >> actually, i love and cherish big bird. maybe we could have an earmark, pork barrel project, do away with all pbs but have an earmark for big bird. i'm not a big bird -- i mean, i'm not an earmark fan, but maybe it would justify. >> senator, always good to talk to you. thank you very much. >> thanks, piers. next, a reenergized president obama goes back on the attack and did the job numbers stop mitt romney's momentum before it could really start? a ! [ wife ] a beached whale! lawn clippings! a mattress. a sausage link. mermaid. honey!? driftwood. come on, you gotta help us out here a little. [ male announcer ] febreze eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪
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we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. why won't romney level with us about his tax plan which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he would have to raise taxes on the middle class, or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here, how could we ever trust him here? >> roller coaster week hitting a high note for president obama. the new jobless numbers are easing the pain of his poor debate performance and bring romney's momentum to a sharp
stop or it may not. joining me now, "new york times" columnist, nick kristof. let's start with the job figures today. because it's clearly good news for barack obama politically if nothing else. >> not only the numbers today but the revisions for the last two months. we seem to really be on a trajectory and you know, this is going -- apparently what really matters is not the economy for the year but the economy at the moment as people approach the election. people are beginning to vote. >> the good news for barack obama there. not so good news his performance at the debate. common consensus is a bit of a turkey. >> he blew it. >> why de blid he blow it? he's such a skillful orator usually. >> it's a paradox. he's a skillful communicator at his best and he was really at his worst. there are various theories. one is that he was coached it would be unpresidential to attack, that it may be a
particular problem for a black president, he doesn't want to fall into this angry black man kind of mental image. but i think he also may have just not been -- not been training adequately and been unused to being targeted that directly. i think when you're president people tend to defer to you. >> michael moore tweeted we don't need to hear any more of obama lost the debate. want to know why and how it happened. he wasn't off his game. something happened. he believes he got some awful bit of news before he walked out, trying to explain why his demeanor was so flat. >> you know, when it was happening, i was tweeting that maybe obama was distracted because a s.e.a.l. team was off arresting zawahiri. but who knows, maybe it's true but i don't buy it. i think in almost any situation, the best explanation is incompetence rather than conspiracy, and if you look back, when gerald ford made his catastrophic comment in presidential debate about
eastern europe not being under the subjugated by the soviet union, that was incompetence. when michael dukakis made his silly statement about his wife, that was incompetence. i think the best explanation here is that he just blew it without any help. >> what it has done is completely reenergized mitt romney's campaign. it was really i think on its knees building up to this debate and the feeling being that if it had gone badly the first debate, could be all over for mitt romney. certainly not all over now. would you anticipate a tightening of the polls and a very, very close race now? >> i mean, it's certainly closer but there's always going to be good news and bad news, and so in trade, for example, the betting side, so obama's prospects fell slightly. i think it went from 69% to 65% chance of him winning re-election. you know, that feels about right. it helped romney but we're just in the second inning of a long, long ball game. >> when it gets to the foreign policy debate which is the last one, lots to discuss there, obviously, syria, also libya
with ambassador stevens. but an interesting interview with john mccain. he's saying he's damned if he's going to give up freedom of speech because it may possibly offend the prophet muhammed. what do you make of that? >> well, he's certainly right on that. there's going to be no disagreement there. i think that the republicans are increasingly going to focus on what happened in libya, why there wasn't better security for ambassador stevens, and i think that's a legitimate area to poke on. i do think it's kind of small bore. this is not something the president is deciding on, the security in benghazi. i think that also, while obama has his failures in foreign policy, they are not ones that romney can easily pick up on. >> he could always, i would knowledge ma, imagine, in a debate turn on i killed osama bin laden. that is an undisputable vote winner for the american public. >> one of my friends on facebook was joking that he should have -- they should have cremated osama bin laden, should have placed the urn of ashes on the podium beside him.
i think that on the national security front right now, obama is looking pretty good. but a month is a long time. plenty can still go wrong. iran can blow up. european economy can blow up. >> in the context, though, of the four-year tenure of his presidency, foreign policy's been an area of expertise for a long time. how do you rate it as a president? he's certainly done it in a very different way to george bush, for example. >> i think that in general, he's been pretty strong. his big mistake, i think, was the surge in afghanistan. he wouldn't acknowledge that but i think a lot of people around him would. on syria, i think he's widely regarded as kind of behind the curve. but it's defensible. and he gets credit in a sense for just being very articulate and for seeming more sympathetic to the world so on guantanamo, he hasn't closed it and the world was very indignant at the u.s. under president bush but
somehow, president obama gets away with that. i think that is because he has been able to use soft power quite effectively. >> finally, probably most seriously for you, pbs, mitt romney's plan to eradicate you from the face of the earth. never mind iran. he's got you in his sights. your documentary, you made with your wife, premiered to big ratings on pbs on monday night. how do you feel about the fact mitt romney if he gets into power will get rid of you? >> i just took a call from big bird before coming on here. we're getting together to form a little alliance. >> does he have a point, mitt romney? >> not in my -- obviously i'm a little conflicted here because my show was just on pbs but i do think that it is important, there's a real public good, that in the same way you want to have the government provide a public part because it serves the community, and providing some kind of similar public good on the air waves, whether it's bbc in britain, cbc in canada or pbs, for example, in this country, that there is a real benefit to that. and i wouldn't want to see
either half the sky lose that platform or big bird. >> i've got to say, big bird, i think there will be room for big bird on this show fit comif it o it. don't you worry. when we come back, battleground america. political all-star on the economy, next debate and count down to election day. ♪ ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life.
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the question ohio families are asking is who can bring back the jobs. under president obama, we've lost over a half a million manufacturing jobs and china has passed us in manufacturing. i'll stand up to china. i have a detailed plan to create 12 million new jobs, including producing our own energy in the ground, in ohio. >> that's the newest romney attack ad out today in ohio. in the race for the white house, the economy is priority one and the focus of tonight's battleground america. the unemployment numbers are giving obama the boost he needed but romney says the numbers aren't nearly good enough. joining me is former clinton press secretary, dee dee myers and republican strategist, john bravender. john, let me start with you. presumably all republicans are
feeling a surge of great excitement following the debate. how much has that been dissipated by what are undeniably very good jobs figures today? >> first of all, i guess i would argue that they are as good as either you're saying or particularly that obama is saying. if you look at the adjusted numbers for july and august, actually the new numbers aren't any better than that. if you look, the only reason that unemployment is going down is they're taking more and more people who have basically given up or are underemployed out of the equation and so what has happened is we're now starting to accept and get excitement over mediocrity. but i will say this. the good news for the president is we're discussing the job numbers today and whether they're good, bad or whatever rather than his debate performance. i think that's actually good for obama. >> there are too many middle class families that are still struggling to pay the bills. they were struggling long before the crisis hit.
but today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> dee dee myers, he made a good point there, which is whether you agree or not with these figures, and some republicans, jack welch and others, have questioned them quite openly which most people find a little bit too far even by political gun slinging standards because these figures are widely accepted as being accurate. >> especially when they have to adjust them down, right, in the aftermath of earlier reports. >> also, assume the republicans were to win in november, they would be saying these figures are accurate when they come out under their watch. i think we should part that to one side. 7.8% is crucially under 8%. so whether barack obama wants to make too much of a big deal of this or not, the reality is it's removed one of the big sticks the republicans were beating him over the head about, which is hey, look, it's still over 8%.
not anymore. >> right. as the president said today, it's we're moving in the right direction. we're not there yet but in the last year, we've seen that unemployment rate drop 1.2%. we haven't seen a drop like that in nearly 20 years. so that's good news. i think what it reflects is it's consistent with what we've seen in other polls recently that show there's an increasing sense of optimism among voters as they look forward. they think the economy's starting to get better. on the right track, wrong track numbers it's getting a little bit better. i think this just confirms a growing sense that we're moving forward. we're getting there. it's been a tough slog. we went from an economy that was losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month when president obama took office to a place now where the economy has created 5.2 million new jobs. so we're getting there. we're not there yet but we're getting there. >> john, mitt romney yesterday amid all the ecstasy about his debate performance took time on fox to say that he was now very sorry for saying what he said about the 47%.
was that a smart political move in a moment of everyone feeling good about you to just bury that away? >> i think the timing was right that he said that, but i do hope he doesn't move away from what the bigger argument that he was trying to make, is that there are two choices in america today. are we going to become a country very, very dependent on big government that says give me all your money, give me your taxes and i will take care of you, or one that really says the individual has the right to keep more of their money, make more of their decisions and freedom is what made america the country that it is. that is fundamentally the question. but from a strategy or tactical standpoint, i think this was the time for him to get out there and clarify his remark. >> but isn't the problem that once again, mitt romney has flipflopped in spectacular fashion? he's now saying he was completely wrong and yet when you watch what he said, you know that he meant it. he meant it in that moment. just as he meant it when he said, when he was governor of massachusetts, he wanted to outlaw assault rifles or he wanted to be pro-choice with
abortion. the man has a record of constantly flipflopping on issues, doesn't he? >> he does. and for the last five years, as he campaigned for president in 2008 and through the interim and in the course of this campaign, he's had every position on virtually every issue and now he's pretty much debating himself. he's been talking about an economic plan for more than a year that includes basically cutting taxes by $5 trillion over the next ten years and he showed up at the debate the other night and said he didn't have a plan to cut taxes, let alone by $5 trillion. you know, 47% is just the most recent example. i agree with you, piers, when you look at that video and people have all seen it with their own eyes, he clearly believed that and he doubled down the next day, he said my words were inelegant but he didn't distance himself from the sentiment. now he realized how damaging that is to his campaign and so he's distancing himself all the way. i think people look at it, they know he's going to try to run as a moderate when we've seen all of his proposals are extremely conservative and the american
public's going to have to sort it out and we're going to help them. >> you had great moments with rick santorum and his campaign, great highs, but he didn't make it across the line. mitt romney's had a very good debate here, but he's not over the line yet, in fact, far from it. what advice would you give him now with the remaining two debates, there's only 30 days left or whatever it may be until the election. what do you say to mitt romney? >> well, first of all, i do think the start of the presidential campaign in some ways start wd the debate the other night. i think only partisans watch the convention. a lot of the real undecided voters started to tune in. he had a good night, he can build on that. i think what he has to do, though, is not just become the biggest critic of the president. i think other people can do that effectively. he has to start showing his vision and how to give hope to people of why america is going to be better under mitt romney and also let them see him personally. get to know him and see that he's actually a pretty darn likeable guy once you get to know him. >> can he win from here, do you think, john? >> oh, absolutely.
i mean, we have already seen some of the polls that came out today since the debates show a great tightening. we have also seen there's been a big influx of money for mitt romney which will for the first time put him on an even parity with obama on advertising, and like i said, i think this race, it's game on again. it's a new game and i think that it's very tight and i think the real start of the race happened with the debate the other night. >> dee dee myers, what barack obama did with that debate is he did put mitt romney back in play, didn't he? it was really bizarrely low key performance by your man. >> it wasn't the president's best night, that's for sure. and governor romney to his credit showed up ready to play and really put in a good performance. but we've seen that mitt romney can do quite well in a debate, in a controlled environment where he's had a lot of time to practice, where he's had an opportunity to sort of think a lot about what he wants to say and frame his arguments and he went out and delivered. but now he's going to have to go out there and defend those arguments, going to have to go out on the stump and talk to people, talk to reporters. again, articulate the vision that john was talking about
which he's been unable to do. we'll see if he's able to take that performance out of a controlled environment and i think the onus is on the president as well. he certainly came out swinging yesterday and did a lot of things people wished he had done at the debate on wednesday night, but he's going to have to make the same argument. >> well, the next two debates will be fascinating, as will the vp debate. for now, thank you both very much. coming up, education was a key part of the debate the other night but can you save our schools? we meet the man who is trying to do that. bars. hmm? i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire
it means that the teacher that i met in las vegas, wonderful young lady, who describes to me she's got 42 kids in her class. the first two weeks, she's got some of them sitting on the floor until finally, they get reassigned. they're using textbooks that are ten years old. >> when it comes to keeping america great, salman khan is a bit of an expert with an mba from harvard. he's dedicated himself to education. he's founder of the khan academy but his youtube channel has over 3,000 educational videos on everything from physics to history. his new book is titled "the one
world schoolhouse." he's also on "time" magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world. welcome. you are the most popular teacher in the history of planet earth. it's undeniable. the stats don't lie. is it four million people now watched your video lessons for want of a better phrase, right? >> that's right. seven million. we're not just videos, we have interactive exercises. it's not just me anymore. >> seven million people around the world will go online to see you give effectively a lesson. >> i give lessons, we have a few other folks who are doing it. we also have an interactive platform. it's all of the above. our team is 36 people. it's not seven million just for me. >> stop being so modest. this is not what you're here for. this is to celebrate you. it's a fascinating proposition. i've got three teenaged sons. they have the attention spans of small gnats. not even a big gnat.
you have taken that kind of philosophy and say we will make these a short shot, correct? >> the first time i made one of these lessons i was making them for my cousins and i uploaded the 12 minute lesson on youtube and it was too long. it was a ten minute limit. i had to make nine and a half minutes. they're not cliff's notes. you can do as many as you want. i think we're at least as comprehensive as what you normally get. since then, we've had researchers and i talk about that in the book, who said no, there are studies that back this up. there's no reason people are sitting in 55 minute lectures other than logistics. people zone out after 10 to 15 minutes. >> with other countries now steaming past america, what is the number one thing you want to see whoever wins the next election do about this? >> i think there's going to be a broad push to making classrooms more human. when you have 42 people or 30 people, even 20 people in a room and it's all about a lecture, no matter how good you get that ratio down, it's still a passive experience.
it's what we all went through. you're looking at a clock waiting for the period to end. so what we're talking about is technology not to replace what's happening in a classroom but to make the classroom better. if lectures can happen stay t t student's pace, can we use classroom time for interaction with the peers and the teacher. even if you have the unfortunate situation of 42 students, at least let them interact with each other and teach each other. let them have more opportunities to interact with the teacher. >> but is the right move forward for kids to be doing as much work at home as they do at school and doing it on computers, which is their natural habitat anyway? >> no. i think actually one of the big problems, i talk a lot about this, is we have this culture of homework that creates this illusion of rigor. we're not good enough, custodians are beating us and all the studies point to the biggest determineant of a student's success is eating with
their parents and sleeping. too much homework goes directly against both of those things. we have been working with a lot of schools. what we're seeing is if you actually allow more engagement in the classroom, you allow students to learn at their own pace, they learn much more efficiently. >> what was the moment like when bill gates rang you up? >> he had kind of told the world a couple weeks before that that he uses khan academy himself and his kids, these videos were for my cousins, made me a little nervous. two weeks later i got a call from his chief of staff who said you might have heard bill's a fan. yeah, i heard that. and if you have some time he would like to fly you up. i was looking at my calendar at the moment for the month, completely blank. so i told him yeah, you know, maybe like wednesday, 2:45. >> amazing moment there. >> yeah. it was surreal. this was two years ago. i was literally operating out of a walk-in closet. it was realities colliding. >> salman, pleasure to meet you. good luck with the book.
"the one world schoolhouse." exciting proposition. good luck. coming up, music, sex and politics with the gambler himself, kenny rogers. [ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? the wheels of progress haven't been very active lately.
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i do think it's time for the party to get behind governor romney and kenny rogers knows when it's time to hold them, when to fold them. it's time for people to get behind this good man. ♪ when to hold them know when to fold them ♪ ♪ know when to walk away >> that was former president george h.w. bush referencing what may have been the most important role in poker and in life. you got to know when to hold them and when to fold them. the man who made that phrase famous is with me tonight, kenny rogers. kenny, welcome. >> thank you so. . thanks for having me. >> what is it like to hear an american president just casually referencing you. >> i have to tell you, he has always been so nice to me. they used to send -- he and barbara used to send me
hand-written birthday cards every year. there's a picture of me and barbara and she used to say that's her, what is it, mount vernon -- rushmore. they've always been so sweet to me. >> amazing. do i see your politics lean the republican way? >> well, yeah. you can assume that. >> so after the debate you must be a happy guy this week? >> i thought it went really well. i have to admit, i thought it went well. in all fairness, i really wanted obama to be a great president. i really did. but you know, i think, and i wasn't thrilled with romney but i think he came up and he stood up like a man, he made his points and i believed him, and that's all i care about in politics. >> how much of it now is performing? you're one of the great performers in america. it seems to me for all politicians, if you can't actually perform on a stage to a high level now, you're never going to win an election because the television images that go out are so important.
>> there was a big thing about al gore last time, when he started rolling his eyes and making all these expressions, and the people didn't like him. and that's what happened. you have to present yourself in a very positive way. >> let's turn to music. have you ever walked into a karaoke bar and sung one of your own songs without people knowing it's you? >> i haven't done that but i'll tell you what i have done. in vegas once as a joke, i went into one of those things where they have the impersonators and i didn't tell anybody except the people there that it was me. so i go up onstage and i'm singing with this girl that looks like dolly, sang great like dolly, we did "islands in the stream" and i did one of my songs, whatever it was, and when it was over everybody goes out and signs their name. so i go out and i sit down, i'm signing my name. this guy says i'll tell you one thing, you're a hell of a lot better than that real thing. i said thanks, i think. >> i'm sure people have seen probably the person you owe most to is dolly parton, that duet.
it became the biggest of all time. even the back of your book here, she says i love kenny rogers, i always will. always look forward to seeing him. i never get tired of hearing him sing. i was a fan before. i'm a bigger fan now. then i read another little thank you in and another little thank you in here, a little near the mark for me. great as though dolly has been for you, i actually think you owe it all to lionel richie. you say here, lionel richie, with one song, "lady" gave me a connection with every woman in the world. >> right. >> no man could do something finer than any other man than that. the greatest love song possibly ever written. >> he is the best writer of conversation. you listen to still, three times a lady, hello, it's like people talking. when i do ballads, i try to say what every man would like to say and what every woman would like to hear, and if you do that, you touch everybody, and the other songs are those with historical
content. >> i love it. lionel richie, i asked him if he ever made love to his own music? >> to lionel? >> ask him if he's ever made love. start there. he's been my buddy for 40 years, and he's like me and dolly. we can say things about each other. i did that whole tv show, called "my first 50 years" with dolly, lionel, smoky robinson, they all came to sing with me, and i would say, hey, get my friends and lionel richie. he knows it comes from love. >> he has a great sense of humor. >> kenny, have you ever made love to a woman to your own music? >> no. >> would you tell me if you had? >> maybe. >> you have been married five times. >> yep. >> you're now with one that you have been with for 15 years. >> 20 years.
married 15. >> but it appears you found eventually the path to marital bliss many. >> you know, she's a very special girl. when i met her, she was 26 years old, and i was like 54 i think. and so the odds were really against us, stacked against us, but she knows me better than any woman has ever known me before i love her for that. we really don't have any problems, and we have identical twin boys eight years old now. say a prayer for me on that one. it's -- it's so perfect for me, and i think the fact that i have matured so much. in the book, i talk about there is a fine line being driven and being selfish, and i think i crossed that line a few times. i take full blame for all of my other marriages, and i really loved those women when i married them. >> how many times would you say you've been properly in love in your life? >> well, at least five. wouldn't you say? >> that might be a record. >> wouldn't you say?
i ask everyone that question, and no one has come up with more than five. >> do you need more than that? i think i'm codependent, and i really need someone by my side and someone who understand me, but you also have the responsibility to treat them right, and i don't want to make that mistake with wanda, as i don't think i have done that in the past. >> if you were trapped on a desert island and could only sing one of your songs again, which one would it be? >> lady. but i also like we've got tonight, a song with schena easton. i feel good when i do it and love what it said. a bob seger song. and i did it with sheena, such a big hit. i'm always shocked when i do it, because i don't look at it as one of my big hits, but when i do it, the response is staggering. >> coward of the county. that's my favorite.
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live. >> in the united states there are at least 1.3 million children caring for someone who is ill or injured or elderly or disabled. they can become isolated. there are physical effects, the stress and the worry. >> thank you, baby. thank you so much. >> these children suffer silently. people don't know they exist. i'm connie siskowski. i am bringing this precious population into the light to transform their lives so they can stay in school. >> good to see you. we offer each child a home visit. has a ramp been helpful? we look what we can provide to meet the need. we go into the schools with a peer support group. and we offer out of school activities that give the child a break. >> this is so relaxing. >> so they know they are not